Exploring the Crescendo of Opportunity: The Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Brass Instruments placed on the floor.

Exploring the Crescendo of Opportunity: The Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University

Attention, high school maestros and virtuosos! Have you ever dreamt of a summer that could change the course of your musical journey? Enter the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University—a summer program that harmonizes intensive music training with the thrill of summer camp life.

What is the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University?

Located within the picturesque Colgate University in the heart of New York, the Eastern US Music Camp (EUSMC) is for young musicians aged 12 to 18, offering an expansive musical playground.

Here, every student is the composer of their own summer symphony, with the freedom to curate a personal program that spans various instruments and vocal training, all at a single cost.

The camp’s curriculum strikes a harmonious balance between rigorous musical instruction—be it solo or ensemble—and the joy of sharing music through weekly concerts and recitals. It’s an environment that not only polishes musical prowess but also cultivates confidence, sharpens focus, and encourages the kind of social interplay that crescendos into lifelong skills.

Drawing a diverse chorus of participants from every corner of the United States and the world—from the historic cities of Europe to the vibrant landscapes of South America and Asia—this camp is a global stage set for cultural exchange and harmony.

Since its overture in 1976 by founders Thomas and Grace Brown, the camp has been orchestrated by a cadre of accredited educators and handpicked, adept counselors, ensuring that the number of students in each session remains conducive to personalized instruction. The camp’s credentialed staff, recognized across the nation, prioritizes a warm and individualized approach to teaching.

a student performing with his saxophone

Music Program Overview

Daily Classes 

Upon arrival, you will choose from a roster of classes that convene from Monday to Saturday. This selection process takes place on Student Registration Day with guidance provided by the Colgate University faculty. Participation in the entire four-week session may qualify for high school credit.

Available Classes for the 2024 Program

  • Theory I
  • Theory II
  • Theory III
  • Harmony I
  • Harmony II
  • Composition & Arranging
  • Conducting
  • Improvisation (for Jazz Students)
  • Music Production
  • Performing Groups

A woman and a man practising on stage.

For an inclusive tuition fee, you will have the opportunity to join multiple performing groups and ensembles using various instruments and/or their voice. These groups meet for rehearsals from Monday to Saturday and present a fresh, demanding repertoire weekly through public performances or recitals.

They warmly welcome parents and friends to these events. There is no charge for attendance, and performances are typically held at the climate-controlled Brehmer Theater in the Dana Arts Center.

Groups for the 2024 Program

  • Symphonic Band
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Small String Ensembles
  • Jazz Ensemble I & II
  • Jazz Combo I & II
  • Concert Choir
  • Chamber Choir
  • Vocal Jazz Choir
  • Piano Ensembles
  • Contemporary Rock Ensemble I & II
  • Guitar Ensembles (Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical Guitar, Bass Guitar)
  • Ensembles and Masterclasses

Top view of an unidentified person composing music.

Ensembles focus on personalized teaching and mentorship. Rehearsals for each ensemble occur from Monday to Saturday, culminating in a weekly public concert or recital showcasing a new musical program. To cater to varying skill levels, certain ensembles conduct auditions to determine seating arrangements.

Ensembles for the 2024 Program

  • Piano
  • Brass
  • Percussion
  • String (All Strings)
  • Guitar & Bass Guitar
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Woodwind
  • Chamber Choir
  • Jazz Combos
  • Jazz Ensembles
  • Vocal Jazz
  • Masterclasses:
  • Improvisation

Close up of a microphone.


  • Composition & Arranging
  • Vocal Techniques/Repertoire
  • Piano Techniques/Repertoire
  • Private Lessons

Professional instructors provide weekly private lessons for a range of instruments, including brass, woodwind, strings, guitar, and percussion, as well as for voice, piano, harp, and pipe organ. You may opt for additional lessons and may also choose to learn multiple instruments or voice techniques within a week.

Registration for private lessons can be completed once you obtain the Information Packet and forms in early May, or you can opt to register upon your arrival during the official Registration process.

The fee for these lessons is set at $90 for a full hour or $45 for a half-hour session.

a female student understanding how to start a college application essay

Daily Schedule

Craft a schedule that’s uniquely yours! Engage in a variety of performing groups and ensembles across different instruments and vocals, all included in a single fee!

Your day begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by your chosen class at 8:30 a.m. Options include various levels of Theory, Harmony, Composition and Arranging, Conducting, Improvisation for Jazz Students, and Music Production. At 9:30 a.m., join ensembles or workshops specific to your instrument or interest. The whole camp comes together for the Concert Choir at 10:30 a.m.

After lunch at 12:30 p.m., the afternoon is filled with diverse ensembles and practice or leisure time, starting at 1:30 p.m. Each hour until dinner provides opportunities for different ensemble rehearsals or personal practice and recreation.

Evenings are reserved for special performances, workshops, and social activities. Weekly recitals and concerts are held on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.

Two students playing with their instruments

Sample Daily Schedules are also available for the following through their website.

  • Woodwind Instruments (Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Bassoon)
  • Brass Instruments (Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Euphonium, Tuba)
  • Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass)
  • Voice
  • Piano
  • Guitar & Bass Guitar
  • Percussion

Students sitting on the grass.

Why should you go to the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University?

Attending the EUSMC at Colgate University presents a unique chance to learn from some of the country’s most respected music teachers across an array of styles such as Jazz, Classical, and Rock.

It’s a place where you can tailor your daily activities to your musical interests, participate in performance groups suited to your skill level, and take the stage in regular concerts and recitals.

The camp’s picturesque location and supportive atmosphere provide a perfect backdrop for honing your musical talents and forging lasting friendships. Plus, you’ll get to experience the campus that The Princeton Review hailed as the most beautiful in America, all while enjoying a blend of music-making and fun recreational activities!

a group of students playing scavenger hunt

Recreational Activities

While music fills most of the day, you have the liberty to intersperse your musical endeavors with a variety of athletic pursuits in the afternoons. You are invited to explore the comprehensive sports amenities at Colgate University.

This includes working out with the latest fitness equipment at the Trudy Fitness Center or taking a swim in the indoor Olympic-sized pool, with a lifeguard present during open swim times. The campus also offers facilities for tennis, basketball, volleyball, racquetball, and softball for those inclined toward team sports or solo play.

a group of students playing beach volleyball

On evenings that are free from musical performances and educational events, a range of organized recreational activities awaits. These are carefully planned and overseen by the camp’s dedicated counseling staff.

Post-concert evenings often feature pizza gatherings in the dorms, creating moments for relaxation and socializing. For a change of scenery, the camp organizes movie nights and picnics.

Students sometimes indulge in leisurely strolls to savor treats at a classic local ice cream parlor or to browse the Colgate Bookstore in charming downtown Hamilton.

Two microphone placed on a table.

Musical Essentials

You need to bring your personal instrument(s) unless you’ve made alternative arrangements. It’s crucial to maintain an in-depth record of your instrument(s), including the serial numbers. Ensure your instrument is fully functional before arrival. You can bring a portable music stand for practice sessions in your dormitory.

Don’t forget to pack additional supplies such as a tuner, metronome, reeds, valve oil, strings, or rosin, as Hamilton does not have a music store. Prepare to bring your music pieces, including solo literature and method or etude books that your private instructor requests or that you need for recitals.

Unidentified people playing music.

For instrument storage, large instruments can be safely placed in designated areas within Brehmer Theater, which is the rehearsal and concert venue.

Guitar and Bass Guitarists: We advise those not flying to bring their own amplifiers, cables, and related gear. A tuner, especially a chromatic one, is recommended.

Drummers and Percussionists: The camp provides drum sets and mallet instruments for rehearsals and performances. However, you should bring your own sticks, mallets, and any preferred accessories. If you wish to have a drum set for dorm practice, you can bring your own.

How to get into the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University?

Discover the immersive musical journey awaiting you at the EEUSMC by the prestigious Colgate University! This program welcomes a diverse group of young musicians aged 12 to 18, with no audition requirement!

Regarding registration, your place in the camp is reserved with a $50 non-refundable fee accompanying your application. Full payment of tuition is required by June 1, 2024.

a group of students getting to know each other

The all-inclusive tuition provides resident students with comfortable accommodations, nutritious meals, comprehensive musical instruction, health services, and a plethora of in-camp activities.

This includes the freedom to explore multiple instruments and vocal training without any extra charges. Day students are equally valued, with a full program and weekday lunches included.

EUSMC is proud to be an inclusive community, welcoming students from all backgrounds without discrimination based on gender, race, color, nationality, religion, or disability.

How to apply

Seize the opportunity to join the Eastern US Music Camp for Summer 2024! Choose from the following simple enrollment methods:

Online Enrollment

Easily apply by clicking the link to set up your account. Once your account is active, you’ll be directed to the Online Application. Complete your submission and finalize the process by securing your registration fee payment.

a female student looking at her computer screen

Print and Mail Enrollment

Alternatively, you can send your 2024 EUSMC Student Application via post. Include a personal check for the registration fee, payable to Eastern US Music Camp, Inc., and mail it to their office at:

Eastern US Music Camp, Inc.

7 Brook Hollow Road

Ballston Lake, NY 12019

Please note that your enrollment is confirmed once they receive both your application and the registration fee. While you can choose to settle the tuition with the registration fee, keep in mind that all fees must be paid by June 1, 2024.

Applications after that deadline must include the full tuition and registration fee.

How hard is it to get into the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University?

Admission to the camp is not based on a competitive application process or audition. Instead, applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. They are only accepting 150 students per session!

The best advice we can offer is to apply early to secure your spot!

A man sitting by the window is lost in thoughts

When is the deadline to apply to the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University?

There is no enrollment deadline, but make sure to register or submit your applications on or before June 30 – July 28, 2024.

When do I find out about my application?

Once you have successfully registered, expect an Information Packet in May detailing everything you need to prepare for the camp, including a form to personalize your daily schedule of music and recreational activities.

Where is the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University?

Colgate University is located in Hamilton, New York, providing a picturesque and serene backdrop that’s perfect for fostering creativity and focus.

Residential students will be accommodated in contemporary dormitories designated for boys and girls on the University campus. The majority of the students will share double-occupancy rooms, while a few may be placed in triple-occupancy rooms.

Google's search page flashed unto a smart phone screen

How to get there

Air Travel: For those flying in, Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York, is the nearest airport. To reach the campus from the airport, make use of the Colgate-on-Demand Shuttle service, which will bring you directly to the Dana Arts Center at Colgate University.

Bus Service: If traveling from New York City, the Port Authority offers bus services that arrive directly on the Colgate campus twice a day, with the journey lasting approximately 4.5 hours.

By Car: Detailed directions and information for those driving to the campus can be found in the Information Letter that is sent out to all enrolled students.

When does the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University take place?

Plan your summer ahead and join this music camp! Here are the session dates that you can choose from:

Two-Week Session: June 30, July 7, or July 14

Three-Week Session: June 30 or July 7

Four-Week Session: June 30 to July 28

a highschool student carrying his school stuff and posing for the camera

Other Important Dates

Concert and Recital Schedule

The Symphonic Band, Vocal Jazz Choir, Jazz Ensembles, and Jazz Combo I are scheduled to perform on the following dates in 2024:

  • July 6
  • July 14
  • July 20
  • July 27

The Wind Ensemble, Chamber Choir, Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and Concert Choir will take the stage on these dates:

  • July 7
  • July 13
  • July 21
  • July 27

View of students sitting on the area of a theater.

Performances are set for 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 3:00 p.m. on Sundays, with a small ensemble gracing the Brehmer Theater lobby with a prelude performance 45 minutes before each weekend concert.

Recitals will be held on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., where all students are welcomed and encouraged to showcase their talents.

The season’s highlight will be the Final Gala Concert on Saturday, July 27, 2024, starting at 1:30 p.m. with Small Ensembles, followed by Major Ensembles at 2:00 p.m. Celebrations will continue post-concert with a reception for all guests and a catered semi-formal dinner and dance exclusively for the students.

How long is the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University?

The EUSMC at Colgate University offers a variety of sessions. Here are the options and their tuition costs:

Two-week options with residential tuition at $3530 and day student tuition at $1250.

Three-week options with residential tuition at $5295 and day student tuition at $1875.

A comprehensive four-week session from June 30 to July 28, priced at $6960 for residents and $2500 for day students.

Big Band saxophone section. A candid view along the saxophone section of a big band in concert.

Final Notes

As the final notes of our exploration resonate, the Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University stands as an opportunity for young musicians. Within its harmonious blend of rigorous instruction, diverse ensembles, and picturesque surroundings lies the potential for each student to compose the opening bars of their own life’s symphony. It is more than a place to refine one’s musical talent; it is a community that fosters creativity, camaraderie, and the pure joy of music.

So, to those young virtuosos seeking a stage to amplify their passion, the EUSMC awaits! Here, amidst the rolling hills of Colgate University, you are invited to embark on a journey of musical discovery, to challenge yourself, to grow, and to forge bonds that resonate well beyond the summer. Let this camp be the crescendo in your musical education, where the experiences you gain and the friendships you make become the timeless melody that guides you to your next grand performance in life’s great concert hall.

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